Saturday, June 28, 2014

Raw #156 - April 22nd, 1996

This week’s Raw opens with a rematch between Savio Vega and Goldust for the vacant Intercontinental title. Vince comments that Goldust has “lost weight” as of late, referring to his loss of the IC belt and not to his infamous weight fluctuations over the next two decades. Vince compares Gorilla Monsoon’s decision last week to those of King Solomon, saying “you can’t split the baby in two” (which is not a reference to Terri Runnels’s kayfabe miscarriage in 1999). Jerry Lawler mentions that Sunny has “two huge surprises” for the Godwinns tonight. My guess is her breasts. Anyone else guessing, “breasts”?
Savio joins the broadcast team via split-screen. Jerry Lawler says he must be shaking in his boots, so Savio cuts a promo in Spanish about how he’s ready and that Goldust had better be prepared. He then makes his way to the ring for the rematch from last week (or, more accurately, ten minutes before, since this Raw is taped right after last week’s). Savio and Goldust kick off the action with an embrace — no, sorry, that’s a bunch of punches; the photo here is out of context. Goldust tries to leave the match, but Savio brings him back in; if Goldy gets counted out, does Savio win the title? Dust scores a Maneuver (#1 - thrust punch to the face) after sliding on his back between Savio’s legs. Goldust widens his advantage with a mule kick to Vega’s groin. Lawler, always with the out-of-the-blue current events references, notes that 36% of bosses look at their employees’ email, for which Vince chastises him for being off-topic. He’s about a year too late, unfortunately, as old habits die hard, as Lawler follows up his non sequitur with a reminder that Bell Atlantic and Ninex are going to merge. Why can’t Vince just stay backstage and yell at the announcers through their headsets?

Goldust works over Vega’s leg after the commercial break. Jerry Lawler takes the opportunity to compare Savio’s chances to the recently-deceased Jimmy the Greek’s of returning to broadcasting, then makes gambling jokes, offering odds on whether his funeral will be open-casket and whether he will be cremated. Lawler then says that 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight, while 3 out of 4 adults claim they are stressed out at least once a week. Vince, trying to get back on topic, paraphrases the Ultimate Warrior’s promise to kick Goldust’s ass, replacing the offending word with “keister.” Savio narrowly avoids defeat via a chinlock, getting his hand up on the third drop of his arm. The Warrior offers pre-recorded comments, making a Deliverance reference by saying that Goldust will be a “squealing pig” at In Your House. Hey, I thought that kind of stuff don’t make the world work?! Jerry Lawler picks up on the hidden meaning of Warrior’s promo, claiming that he has a “purty mouth.” At least he doesn’t think there was an actual pig in the film like Todd Pettengill. Goldust tries to crotch Savio against the ring post, but ends up getting his head smashed into it. Steve Austin and the Million Dollar Man observe the match from the aisle throughout the commercial break.
Savio surprises Goldust with a small package; you’d think Goldust would be more “disappointed” than “surprised” to encounter his opponent’s small package. Goldust kicks out and attempts the Curtain Call, but Savio escapes, hits a roundhouse kick, and scores another two-count, followed by a schoolboy roll-up. Marlena comes onto the apron to distract the referee, during which time Savio has Goldust pinned for more than a three-count. When Goldust powers out, he sends Savio into the ropes, where he is hit by Austin’s Million Dollar Championship. You would think Austin would want Savio to win the title so he could get a title shot, and you’d think Ted DiBiase would no better than to let personal feelings get in the way of making money, but apparently Stone Cold wouldn’t know any better until next year, when he tried to help Bret Hart win the WWF title so they could have a title match at Wrestlemania. Goldust pulls a Jeff Jarrett, winning the Intercontinental title back after vacating it for a few minutes.
Vader faces Fatu in the next match in a battle of fat guys who would become way fatter over the next decade. Replays are shown to Lawler’s delight of Vader’s attacks on Gorilla Monsoon and, more recently, Yokozuna, who managed to escape the assault with his leg unbroken. Jim Cornette has promised that Vader will do something he’s never done before. Job to a guy 300 pounds lighter in their first match together? No, that will have to wait until Summerslam.
Dok Hendrix promotes new WWF gear and, in a remarkably succinct and candid statement, declares that The Ultimate Warrior is “back, and so is his merchandise!” Two female models wear the two new Warrior shirts. Neither of them is young enough to be Amanda Ultimate Warrior, though.

Vader has already started the match when the in-show commercial is over. Fatu hits a running Ace Crusher, which Vince erroneously calls a bulldog. He then hits a splash off the top rope on Vader, who no-sells it, clotheslines Fatu inside out, and lands the Vader Bomb on the difference-making Samoan. But wait! It’s not a Vader Bomb, but a moonsault, which he executes for the first time in the Federation, securing him the win. A boy in a Sunny t-shirt shows his approval, as does the boy’s father for successfully talking him out of buying that HBK shirt with the bare chest.
Footage of the Federation’s German tour airs, with film of Bret Hart, The Godwinns, and Shawn Michaels, who shoots home videos of the crowd on, and I quote, “Das Kliq Kamera.” All around the world, “the youngsters know the WWF spells ‘fun.’” Geez, and I thought the American education system was flawed! Also on tour, the British Bulldog interfered and attacked Jake Roberts (his In Your House opponent) during a match with Owen Hart. But the clip continues… on and on and on. Jake Roberts makes his comeback, eventually releasing his snake from the bag and wrapping him around Davey Boy.
The Godwinns, who must be jet-lagged from their trip back from Germany, come to the ring as Vince fills up time on his new-and-improved 63-minute broadcast with extended footage from the Slammys, airing the entire “Best Buns” segment, including the part where Lawler accused him of being homophobic, and McMahon replied, “You got that right.” This was followed up by more recycled footage, this time from the Free-For-All match, where Sunny flashed her best buns at Phineas to help the Bodydonnas win.
Jerry Lawler returns from backstage, where he claims to have seen Sunny’s surprise, implying that he saw her breasts. Phineas has his hands full with one of his jobber opponents, who goes by the name Tajiri and hits a Maneuver (#2 - standing moonsault) on the hog farmer. Tim Patterson makes the tag. Do you think he could be Pat’s son? Sunny comes to ringside with her “two big surprises,” which turn out to be the tag team title belts. Hillbilly Jim chases Sunny to the back, leaving the Godwinns manager-less. Henry pins Patterson with the Slop Drop, but the Bodydonnas attack the hillbillies after the bell. Skip hits Phineas with a Devastating Maneuver (#3 - clothesline). He and his “brother” then mash slop into the younger Godwinn’s face.
Aldo Montoya is Mankind’s next victim. Funny, the latter will gain fame by wearing a sock on his hand; the former, by wearing a jock on his head. The Portuguese Man-O-War hits a dropkick on Mankind to little avail, as the Deranged One pounds Montoya viciously. The future ECW Champion then takes Mankind’s knee in his face.
After an unusually early commercial break (Vince banking on the notion that wrestling fans will stay tuned to see how an Aldo Montoya match plays out), the Man-O-War hits a dropkick for a Nice Maneuver (#4), followed by another High-Risk Maneuver (#5) off the top rope, which ends badly, as Mankind’s fist meets his face. Aldo gets hung from the Tree of Woe as Mankind pulls out his own hair. Mankind then hits a “devastating piledriver” and jams his fingers down Aldo’s gullet. “What a creep!” says a very insightful McMahon. The obligatory vomit-shot follows, with Aldo spitting out a white substance from his mouth. I’m starting to think Mick Foley put that goo on his fingers for special effect in this early matches; you should check on Wikipedia to find out for sure, provided that this very blog post isn’t cited as evidence.
A retrospective video package airs of Shawn and Diesel’s history, wherein both men talk about being good friends, but — get this — better enemies. In pre-recorded comments from Germany, Big Daddy Cool says he’s about to wrestle in Berlin, despite the graphic saying he’s in Bayreuth, which is 363 km away from the capital. He says he doesn’t care about winning the title, since the last time he did, Vince and the “corporate suits” tried to change him. he just wants to ruin Shawn’s life and end his career.

Final tally:

5 Maneuvers (Year total: 65)


  1. I always thought Nash sounded drugged during the Germany promo.

  2. I remember seeing Tim Patterson wrestle JYD on Superstars in 1988, and Jesse wouldn't let it go. "That's Pat Patterson's kid! I just know that's Pat Patterson's kid!" Back then, I had no idea why Jesse thought that was funny (or, for that matter, who Pat Patterson was).